About two weeks ago I turned 41. Some women (and men) shy away from revealing their age, but not me. I wear it like a badge. Aging isn’t shameful to me. In fact, I think if you’ve lived life…..lived it to the point that you’ve sucked it dry by exhausting every emotion and experience sent your way…..you’re better off from the aging.
I do get rather introspective at birthdays now that I’m older. Rather than blowing out candles, I’m more apt to write in my journal. And in all that reflection I see choices and experiences that make my heart race with happiness even years later. However, there are other decisions I made that brought pain. As I think over these decisions, I’m often catapulted between immense regret over the choice and immense appreciation for the lessons that it brought.
But birthdays aren’t just for looking back. They are made for looking ahead with hope for the future. That’s the whole point of making a wish, right? The reality is, the average American woman’s life span is 81 according to the internet (which is always true and should never be questioned, right?). Therefore, I am on the downward slope. If the average is true for me, I’ve lived over half of my life already. Perhaps some people regard that as depressing. But not me.
To me it’s a reminder of a finite life. A life that I only get one shot at. By recognizing that I only have a certain amount of time left here, I can stop wasting time being someone I don’t want to be. I recognize that I have to decide the life I want to live and then create it. If I wait until the timing is right or until I have the money or wait until it all falls into place, I’ll be 81 and still not living the life I want. There’s no time for fear, no time for self-loathing, no time for negativity, no time for whining, no time for scheming, no time for dieting, and no time for bitterness. Of course, if you rid yourself of dieting, I imagine eliminating the bitterness becomes easier, too.
There’s a lot in this life we can’t control, but attitude, relationships, being generous and kind, making memories….those we can control. To quote the cliche, let’s make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.